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Is It Legal to Reproduce Blog Posts?

Is it legal to reproduce another persons blog post or feed item in your RSS feed?

Some blogs or RSS feeds, allow for syndication, or contain a creative commons license that allow for them to be reproduced in part or in whole.

If the work is protected by copyright, in the U.S. there is something called fair use, and it governs the use of copyrighted materials, any creative works including blog posts or feed items are considered "copywritten" (in the US). The are four principles of fair use that are factored when determining if something is a copyright violation.

1. is the use commercial in nature (Are you trying to profit from the works?)
2. the nature of the work (How extensive and complicated is the work?)
3. the amount of the work copied (Are you copying an entire website or a web excerpt?)
4. how does the use affect the market value of the copywritten work (Does your use devalue the original works?)

Fair use comes into play when for example a news agency takes an excerpt of a speech or other creative from a competing news agency in order to report on it. They typically only reproduce a portion of the creative work, and then expand on it. This is generally the best practice for bloggers to follow.

As with anything, it is important that credit be given original content creator, it is i just good manners to provide the appropriate attribution.

Addition information on copyright and fair use. The following Creative Commons explanation might also be helfpul and relevant.

- RSS Knowledgebase Feed

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